Total Eclipse

Game Development & Consulting

Business

10 Things I Learnt from Hiring the Wrong Person

Our latest endeavor at Total Eclipse is a puzzle game for iOS devices, titled A Clockwork Brain. It’s a spin-off from our very successful Hidden Object/Adventure series, The Clockwork Man and we’re about to release it in the coming weeks.

There came a point in the production of the game that we decided it was time to move from the prototype graphics we’d been using until then, to the final ones that we had envisioned.

That meant that we had to look for an artist, who would be working remotely, full time on the illustrations and UI elements that were needed for the game. Since this task
was to involve a freelancer, I decided to place an ad and wait for the right person to
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The Clockwork Man – Steampunk goes Casual!

This article was originally posted at Gamezebo.com on Aug. 30th, 2010. We have since updated some of the images and text.

The birth of The Clockwork Man World

Think London, England, turn of the 19th century. You are walking down glistening wet streets dressed in your best Sunday dress (or gentlemen’s suit). Something momentarily blocks the sun; you glance up and see a commercial zeppelin flying above, probably bound for Heathrow. The world of The Clockwork Man is much like our own, and yet not. It is filled with wonders of Steampunk fiction, where the ingenuity of the industrial revolution blends with futuristic steam-powered machines. An amalgam of anachronistic technology, Victorian values, fashion and décor makes up this familiar and yet fictitious world that had never been attempted in a casual game before. Back in 2008, creating something like this was quite a challenge (and risk) for us in Total Eclipse.

Still from The Clockwork Man introductory scene

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The App Store Experiment

About a month ago we launched Maya’s Dress Up, our first game for the iPhone & iPad.

Like everyone else who gets involved in application development for the iOS App Store we were very curious to see how it would perform.

To date we’ve had a bit more than 1,700 sales for both devices and we estimate it would take us at least 6x that amount before we recoup our original investment. At the same time we’ve already got planned a lot of updates and improvements for the game, which will hopefully help it perform even better in the coming months.

Monitoring the sales and ranks of both our applications on the App Store has been part of our every day routine, since they were released. It’s a nice thing to see when you get a spike (it’s true that on weekends sales go up!), but then you have to spend some time thinking what could have caused that spike.

Unfortunately Apple doesn’t provide any kind of insights as to what works and what doesn’t with one’s marketing efforts, something that people have been requesting for sometime now. In the end you’re left guessing…

The experiment

Although Greeks ourselves, we usually don’t pay much attention to the regional App Store, as we’d only had 9 sales from it in the first month. This Monday, however, I noticed a spike in sales for the iPhone edition, coming from Greece, in one of AppFigures‘ great reports.Maya's Dress Up climbs the charts in the Greek App Store

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